Category: PTSD

Symposium

Associations Between Intolerance of Uncertainty and DSM-5 PTSD Symptoms Within a Treatment-Seeking Veteran Sample

Saturday, November 18
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: PTSD Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Risk / Vulnerability Factors | Trauma
Presentation Type: Symposium

Intolerance of uncertainty (IU), defined as “a cognitive bias that affects how a person perceives, interprets, and responds to uncertain situations on a cognitive, emotional, and behavioral level” (Dugas et al., 2004), has received increasing empirical attention in recent years. In particular, the contribution of this cognitive –affective construct to the etiology of various anxiety disorders has become increasingly recognized. However, the relationship between IU and other affective disorders, namely Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), remains largely unexplored. Thus, the current study sought to examine the relations between IU and PTSD symptom severity and criterion clusters, using the newly revised DSM-5 PTSD symptom structure. Participants included 56 veterans (Mage = 43.73; 91% male) presenting to an outpatient Veterans Health Administration clinic for psychological services. Veterans were primarily African-American (59%) and identified their criterion A stressor as combat exposure (59%). At intake, individuals completed a diagnostic assessment and brief battery of self-report questionnaires to assist with diagnostic clarification and treatment planning. Results revealed that IU was significantly associated with overall PTSD symptom severity above and beyond relevant covariates (β = .53, p < .001). Further, IU was significantly associated with all four PTSD criterion clusters: intrusion (β = .41, p = .003), avoidance (β = .50, p = .001), negative alterations in cognitions and mood (β = .48, p = .001), and hyperarousal (β = .50, p = .001). Findings support a growing body of literature establishing IU as a transdiagnostic risk factor for various mood and anxiety-related disorders. Given the malleable nature of IU, as well as research to suggest that current trauma focused treatments are not efficacious for all, future research should examine the extent to which targeting this cognitive-affective variable improves treatment outcomes.

Amanda Medley. Raines

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Southeast Louisiana Veterans HealthCare System

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Associations Between Intolerance of Uncertainty and DSM-5 PTSD Symptoms Within a Treatment-Seeking Veteran Sample



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